Apple TV+ May Stream a Month-Long FIFA Soccer Tournament

Why Trust Techopedia
Key Takeaways

  • Apple is reportedly close to a deal for TV rights to a month-long FIFA tournament.
  • Apple TV+ would be the sole place to watch.
  • A deal could be signed this month ahead of the tourney this summer.

Apple is close to signing a deal for the TV rights to a month-long FIFA soccer tournament, The New York Times sources claimed.

The worldwide agreement would make Apple TV+ the sole place to watch the “World Cup-style” competition between elite soccer teams.

A deal could be completed as soon as this month, the insiders said, and would be worth roughly $1 billion. While large, that’s reportedly a quarter of what FIFA originally estimated. The tournament would be held in the US sometime next summer.

We’ve asked Apple for comment. A FIFA spokesperson told Techopedia the organization doesn’t confirm or deny deal negotiations as a “general practice.”

Apple TV+ already has streaming rights for Major League Soccer, and was buoyed when superstar player Lionel Messi joined the MLS to play for Inter Miami. Its reach beyond that is limited, however, and centers primarily around weekly Friday Night Baseball MLB matches.

An arrangement wouldn’t give Apple the edge in sports streaming. In North America, Paramount+ is the main streaming provider for high-profile soccer like UEFA’s Champions and Europa Leagues.

The potential move could, however, raise Apple’s profile by giving it rights to a major FIFA event and shutting out competition. That could both boost TV+ subscriber numbers and give Apple clout when negotiating other sports deals.

Apple has slowly been gaining share in the streaming world. It climbed to 7% of the U.S. market by the end of 2023, according to JustWatch data. While that was small compared to Amazon Prime Video (22%), Netflix (21%) and Disney+ (15%), it represented a 42% year-over-year jump in total viewership. More soccer could help Apple sustain that momentum alongside originals and other exclusives.